vendredi 8 juin 2007

Ultra Naté, 5th studio album : exception to the rules for a dance diva

When so many dance/house divas release a couple of singles and one single hit among them, and no album at all (or in certain successful cases, one collection of fillers around the hit and a remix package soon after), one of the finest house divas from America has just released her 5th (!) CD and there's never even been some best of or remixes collection in between studio albums.
Her name sounds already full of promises : Ultra Naté.
The Name she chose for her new album too.
It's called "Grime / Silk / Thunder" from a comment some music reviewer made of Nirvana's "Nevermind" CD saying it included all this and that was what a great record should be made of. So Miss Naté intended to match perfection with this long awaited new album (her last one is from 2001!) and, let's face the truth, she quite succeed!

With its 14 tracks, including two re-recordings of old 1989/90 tracks "Scandal" & "It's over now", a cover of the Pointer Sisters' hit "Automatic", her previous collaboration single with swedish Top producer Stonebridge (who mixed all the tracks here) "Freak on", a featuring from David Guetta's favourite vocalist Chris Willis and another one from previous B-Crew partner Dajae, a previous single produced by house wizzard Eric Kupper and inspired by Moroder/Summer's "I feel love", "Love's the only drug" and loads of other fellas and, to name a few, Quentin Harris, Lati Kronlund, Craig C., Louie Balo, Bill Coleman, Andres Levin or her past collaborators Mood II Swing, Ultra Naté couln't do wrong. She co-wrote and co-produced the whole package so you see she ain't no singin' puppet standing in front of the microphone for some studio masters and this album is all HERS.

Not that this was a change for the miss...
From the beginning, she took part of the making process and was already involved in her lyrics on her 1991 first album "Blue Notes in the Basement", which was produced by The Basement Boys.
Same recipe for her second offereing "One woman's insanity" from 1993 but D-Influence, Nellee Hooper and Soulshock, Cutfather & Karlin were added to the team. I can't help but remind you that Boy George's "I specialize in loneliness" were there magnified by Ultra Naté in an epic 7 minutes version of pure bliss.
But that wasn't until 1997 and her worldwide anthem "Free" - not to mistake with Rozalla's raver "Everybody's free (to feel good)", Ultra's song was going like 'Cos you're free... to do what you want to do... You've got to live your life, do what you want to do!" - that the whole planet knew her name. She sang with Amber & Jocelyn Enriquez the single from the discoïd movie Studio 54, "If you could read my mind" and charted again.
Her third album "Situation : critical" followed the year after with the same team as for the single, Mood II Swing, but still with D-Influence and Al Mack & Masters At Work for the sublime "Divine love". More single hits followed with "Found a cure" and "A new kind of medicine" and her fourth album in 2001, "Stranger than fiction" kept the pace but with less chart success, though still high quality, with singles "Desire" & "Get it up (the feeling)".

She got us entertained with various collaborations since then :
"There is" with germans of Tiefschwartz in 2001, "Music came to save my life" with D-Influence's D-Vas project in 2002, "Brass in my pocket" in 2003, "A wonderful place" on Blaze's United For Dance 2004 album, along the same year with "Bittersweet melody", "Feel love" (which is included on this album) or "Time of our lives" with Gerry DeVeaux as Ultra Devoted.
But it was Stonebridge and her vocals on "Freak on" for his first artist album "Can't get enough" that led her back in the worldwide charts as their song was released as third single off his album.
Her collaboration with Def Mix ex keyboard player Eric Kupper "Love's the only drug" announced at the end of 2006 her BIG come back and now it's on.
The new single is "Automatic", a perfect disco housed anthem that has a sexxxy video to promote it as well (see it on my major MySpace profil page), and I can't see why "Falling", "Getaway" or "Give it all you got" wouldn't become the following singles as they're catchy as hell, while the rest of the album takes dance/house standards to a new level.

It'll be hard to top this release for the rest of 2007... Beware! Ultra's back for good .

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